Sweet Smells by Jed Power

Is there anything as dark, desolate and depressing as a summer resort in the off-season? That’s what I was thinking as I walked north on Ocean Boulevard, past the boarded up fried dough stands, T-shirt shops and cheap jewelry stores. In the moonlight I could see all the way to the Casino, not another soul out. Hard to believe in a few months you’d have to fight your way through the crowds on these cold, barren sidewalks.

It didn’t take long before I reached the street I wanted. The house itself was halfway down. It was a mess. One of the worst on the beach. A dump.

Carefully I walked up onto the porch. It wasn’t safe. The wooden door was unlocked. I went inside. The sweet smell of chemicals being drained thorough human bodies hit my nostrils. Mixed with body odor, it was a sickening aroma. Like cheap toilet water. I had smelled it before.